Will you help us save WiFi?

Wed, 2 Sep 2015

For as long as the libreCMC and LibreWRT projects have existed, their core focus has been to bring Free Software to embedded devices, some of which have WiFi chipsets. While the project(s) core goals have not changed very much over the last few years, the landscape of WiFi enabled devices has exploded. Many of the radios in these devices went from being single-purpose radios that can only operate within certain ranges to modifiable SDRs that can be changed. While having the freedom to change one's own hardware is important, it is also important to operate radio equipment within regulatory laws. Because a few have operated devices outside of regulations, the FCC and other regulatory bodies are proposing tighter restrictions on hardware that has WiFi or SDRs. These newly proposed regulations will prevent users from changing the software on their hardware, which means that features can't be added, software can't be audited and security holes will never get fixed. The new regulations won't solve the problem and will only take away essential freedoms to control one's own hardware.

Many free software projects have had safeguards put in place on WiFi chipsets that prevent them from operating outside of regulations. Once these safeguards are removed or bypassed, all bets are off. Instead of punishing everyone in the Free Software community for the actions of a few, individuals who operate devices outside of regulations should be fined instead of taking away everyone's freedom.

The libreCMC project and other members of the Free Software community would like to ask everyone to send a comment to the FCC about these new proposals and why they won't help fix the misuse of WiFi or SDRs. More information about this issue and how to submit comments can be found at SaveWiFi.org.